Simon Redfern, Senior PR Account Manager looks beyond Brexit

The day after the referendum took place to decide whether our country should leave the EU, interest massively spiked for internet searches related to ‘Brexit’.

More than three years on and it is a sure bet that people up and down the country are still asking the  question – What is Brexit? Much of the publicity that was issued by the Government to try and demystify what Brexit is about has not worked with many people still in the dark. The National Audit Office has said the £46m Brexit adspend was ineffective.

And that’s a real concern as we mark Brexit Day today. Who really knows what is going to happen in the coming weeks, months and years?

And it is times like these when people are confused that they turn to the media for answers.

With the level of media interest in Brexit, it’s important that no matter what industry sector, a communications plan is essential for companies to be able to determine how to engage with their internal and external audiences.

For the retail sector, there are many questions to consider. Could Brexit mean tariffs on imported goods, poor product availability and a labour shortfall? These topics could pose a risk to profit margins and top line sales. How does a company want to address these subjects to make its employees aware of the issues?

Brexit could also have an impact on inflation which could affect the sector if it falls or rises in the coming months. Another school of thought is that some retailers could see Brexit as an opportunity to buck the trend and become more competitive such as optimising shop floor operations to keep costs down. Are there ways a firm can inspire their workforce through effective communications?

In terms of health – one of The Tonic’s specialist sectors, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has already had an impact on the NHS and social care: for example, certain groups of health and social care staff numbers from Europe has fallen. Time and resources that would otherwise be invested in improving services for patients have arguably been absorbed into Brexit. Have firms themselves invested time in outlining what Brexit could mean to benefit their audiences? Is this something to shout about?

There could be positives in terms of improving public health regulation, but on the other hand there could be an impact on future trading relationships, which could affect the future affordability of goods. How can the pros and cons be demonstrated to a company’s different audiences?

The Tonic works with a number of transport briefs, which is a sector Brexit could have wide ranging implications. The good news is there are well developed institutions in the UK governing the industry which should help in the face of uncertainty.  How can firms engage effectively with their stakeholders over the coming months? Tonic has worked in partnership with the Road Haulage Association, which has rallied consistently for clarity on Brexit so UK hauliers can better prepare for it.

Whatever the sector, managers need to ensure that their company can demonstrate it is not only knowledgeable about what is ahead, but can also communicate these changes to both internal and external audiences as it enters this new future.

Here at The Tonic Communications, we can help you produce communications plans, so you are confident and ready for what lies ahead. We would love to hear from you to discuss your needs, and you can get in touch with us here.